Faith Messages to build your faith

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Playing Favorites


Martin Wiles shares with us, "He converged on the church’s front steps and watched as parishioner after parishioner passed him by without as much as a “Good morning” or “Can we help you?”

He was new in the community. As one of the more prominent religious facilities in town, he hoped this church would show him acceptance and support. 

No offers were made. Perhaps it was his appearance or the fact that his tattered clothes didn’t parade designer names.

Inside, the members gathered to welcome their new pastor, but he was nowhere to be found. 

Actually, he was. Just not in the corner they scrutinized. He wasn’t on the front pew or behind the podium.

He was the man on the front steps no one spoke to or bothered to help.

When the pastor finally made his way to the sacred desk, no sermon was necessary. His message had already been preached—and the congregants knew it. 

There was nothing to say but a prayer of dismissal so all who had played favorites could return home and ponder his unspoken discourse.

Even the churches of the first century were guilty of playing favorites. But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court?

I, too, have experienced favoritism as a child, when my build rendered me undesirable for athletic teams—both at school and in someone’s backyard. 

And unfortunately, I’ve seen more than my share of it in churches. 

Members were ecstatic when a wealthy or influential person joined the ranks, but snobbish when one apparently lacking in talents or wealth attempted to connect.

Playing favorites reveals my hypocrisy by exposing the fact that I’ve forgotten all people are created in God’s image and are important to him. He loves and cares for them, and I should too.

Are you guilty of playing favorites?

"But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court?" James 2:6 NLT

Prayer: Merciful Father, help us see all people as you view them."

Playing Favorites - Martin Wiles

Photo courtesy of and Africa.

Martin Wiles is a native South Carolinian, author and speaker currently residing in Hodges, South Carolina. 

He and his wife Michelle are the founders of Love Lines From God

Wiles has authored Morning By Morning, Morning Serenity and Grace Greater Than Sin. 

He has served as a regional correspondent for the Baptist Courier. He has also been published in Proclaim, Secret Place ,Word Magic and Fires of Genius

He is a regular contributor to Christian Devotions, Christian Writers, PCCWebDaily, The WOW Blog, Faith Writers, The Eagle Record, and the Common Ground Herald.

Used by permission and Martin Wiles

Do you have a testimony to share? (for comments)

Let’s pray:

   Father, as we're to follow after the example of Christ, may we be careful not to prefer one person over another.

   As each one of us is Your favorite, I trust we'll treat our children and friends as though they are special to us, too.

   May I remember that we were all created by You, and that You have a purpose for us in Your plan of things.

   May I not have to have such a dramatic, eye opener happen to teach me to value others, no matter what my first impression may be.

   I ask this in Jesus' Name, amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Ps. 61:5 "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him."

Today’s quotes: Dawn Mooring – “The voice you and I need to heed is God's. The directions and destination may be unfamiliar, but they lead us to the exact spot we need to be. The challenge before us is to obey the One whose voice is never wrong. Cup your hand around your ear and listen. God will whisper your directions.”

Justus Martin – “God will cause us to have compassion and to know the answers for hurting, searching people. He will enable us to speak truth to them of the reality of Jesus and all He has done for them.”

Some thoughts today: Christianity offers life after death! As Christ rose from the dead, so can we, if our faith is in Him and the salvation He died to provide for us. 1 Cor. 15:20-22

- Death, our enemy, came through Adam, but Life is available through Christ Jesus! 1 Cor. 15:21-26

- The resurrection of Jesus challenges us, as to where we stand with Him, and to be steadfast and immovable in our faith.

29th- Tuesday’s post:  #79  The Rules: Slow and Cautious  C. Peter Wagner

5/1- Thursday's post:  #80  Recruiting I-1 Intercessors  C. Peter Wagner

3rd- Saturday's post:  Reach Out  Gloria Penwell

4th- Sunday's post:  Thrive Where You Are Planted  Kathy Bellows

A popular post:  God's Plan For Man  Matthew Hagee -"God has a very specific plan just for men. God's plan is what He created you specifically to be, how He wants to fully develop you into someone that brings honor to Him, someone that puts Him first in all things."

They pray, so should we! (for comments)
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